What is Metabolic Syndrome?!!!

Metabolic Syndrome

Feeling Stuck

I’ve seen many patients over the years who have come to me because they feel stuck. They are stuck with their progress, their weight loss, and their energy levels – many of them aren’t sleeping well at night either. These people often present with similar medical complaints and the list is typically fatigue, weight gain, food cravings, and poor sleep.

When we take a closer look, the fatigue is a type of low energy that is draining and tends to be the culprit for why they stopped working out. The weight gain usually has a particular onset point in time, such as, “Two years ago after the holiday season.” Food cravings tend to be worse at night and carbohydrate tends to be the food of choice. Sleep issues usually trend along with the weight gain and many people tend to complain of frequent awakenings, particularly in the second half of the night. If this sounds like a vaguely familiar situation – you should keep reading and then discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. 

The Numbers

We have to take a look at some of the numbers to decide what might be going on. The following 5 categories may be of concern, but we only need three strikes here to make the medical diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. Having metabolic syndrome is important to have diagnosed because it is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The categories include blood pressure (BP), waist circumference (which can have some ethnic differences); triglyceride (TG) concentration, HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration, and blood sugar concentration. Each of the categories has a cut point, that once reached, gives you a strike for that category. 


Cut Points

Blood pressure

Systolic ≥130 and/or diastolic ≥85 mm Hg, or on treatment

Waist circumference

Generally >40” in males and >35” in females, but can vary

Triglyceride concentration

<40 mg/dL in males; <50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in females

HDL-cholesterol concentration

≥150 mg/dL

Blood sugar concentration

≥100 mg/dL


What Next

Ok, three strikes and you have it. But what’s the significance? How is it treated? Is it treatable? What happens if you don’t treat it? These are all very important discussions to have with your provider. 

Zachary Lott, NP

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